Why don't you tip more?

Rebecca Rutt's picture

At the end of a meal the age-old question of how much to tip, or whether to tip at all, seems engrained into the British psyche.

I have a real hatred of people who automatically refuse to tip, after years of running around waiting on tables and getting paid well below minimum wage.

Many people think the price for the food includes service but unless stated, it probably doesn’t.

It’s common for waiting staff to get paid below minimum wage and rely on tips to make up the shortfall. I worked for several well-known restaurant chains while at university and this was standard.

Although the national minimum wage will increase to £6.08 an hour in October for those over 20, many restaurants will continue paying below this and expect tips to bring up the amount.

And when you do leave a tip this quite often doesn’t actually go the person serving you.
If you pay on card some companies will automatically take a cut of this, leaving the waiting staff out of pocket.

Other places split the tips between all staff so the £10 you’re leaving for one person will actually go to everyone working there.

After living in America for a year I became accustomed to tipping and would always automatically add on 15% to the price of a meal but it makes me angry people in the UK are so reluctant to tip.

If you’re unsure always ask the person serving what the policy is and if you can, always leave cash. This means it’s more likely to get to that person and instead of lining the CEO’s pockets.

Your Comments

For me tipping very much depends on the quality of service. I am more than happy to tip if I feel I have been given an adequate amount of attention and made to feel welcome in the establishment. Too often however - perhaps more so in some chain restaurants - the service feels rushed and insincere, in which case a tip is not deserved. I certainly don't feel like I have to tip on every occasion, especially if the service has been bad.

However, If I do tip, I would hope the full amount goes to the waiter/waitress and not to the company, which is wrong.

You must really hate me then Ms Rutt.
Why on earth should I subsidise your wages when you are just doing a job?
If the service is well above the norm then I will happily leave a tip, but you chose to work for a cheapskate outfit paying you poor wages!

And just how do these well known high street chains actually get away with paying less than the minimum wage?

You would be better off ranting at the government low pay unit than at us hard working diners!!

The pay may be low but, as somebody on a pension, a meal out is a treat & to be expected to add a tip does seem one step too far, especially as I have never been on high pay & never had a tip. As a student the pay for waiting may be low but presumably a student will be earning a good salary once they have qualified!

I am not going out for a meal and tip to make up the wages of of the staff. If they do not want to work for what they are paid it is not my problem. Staff are not usually that pleasant and make you feel they actually want to serve you and that you are a real pain if you ask for anything or point out something is not right or an item ordered hasn't arrived
I think 10% is more than a fair charge. In fact I would prefer all 'tips' to be included in the bill, so there is none of the pussyfooting about around how much to leave
I also HATE it when the first thing staff do is look to see extactly what you have left them

i think your missing the point here....as far as i am concerned a tip should only me made if the the person serving you has given you good service and the food has been good....also i ask the waiter what the policy about is were the tips go...if the waiter tells me that the tips dont go to them ....i make sure the waiter gets a cash tip and tell them to put it in there back pocket

Why, oh WHY should I 'tip' you? I've worked hard for my money, and I've come in to have a meal. There is a price to the meal, and I've paid. What do I care for you who brought it? Surly, sneering or brilliantly smiling- you've got a job and you're getting paid. If you're not being paid enough, then get quit, or work harder, or get a degree; I don't care. Why should I- I wasn't there when you signed your contract. Just keep your hands out of my pocket.

Why should we tip. Almost universally service is abysmal and often patronising. It is up to the business to pay decent wages and not rely on customers to make it up. Wages should be in their prices so that the consumer can compare the best value and not hidden in service and cover charges

It's a shame we're not like most countries in Europe where service is included in the price you pay and it's customary only to round up the bill. Restaurant owners would then be obliged to pay their staff a decent wage in the first place! We pay through the nose to eat out in this country too, which is why so many people are reluctant to add 15% to the bill as they do in the US. It's a shame too that we look to the US (an inadequate role model!) rather than to Europe where you can still get a decent lunch with wine for 10 euros.

sorry but I disagree. I worked in a shop for years-paid the minimum wage.did i ever get a tip? No!!!
Its a minimum paid job, there are thousands out there and the workers are lucky to get a thankyou never mind a tip!
ps if someone is exceptionally pleasant enen the grumpy old woman will give a bit as an extra thankyou
But it is not up to the general public to subsidise the wages

It is no longer legal for a restauranteur to include tips when paying the minimum wage and most restaurants add a 15% service charge anyway so why should we pay twice for begrudgingly given service. If a waiter gives service over and beyond the basic then, yes, consider tipping but not just for the sake of it.

Do we tip the checkout girl in the supermarket? Do we tip the Policeman who books us for speeding? Do we tip the postman for delivering us our mail? Do we tip the meter reader? The list goes on and the answer is still no!

If you are not getting the correct rate for your job, take it up with your employer!

You are right to say that in the good "Ole US of A,because that is what the network of people system etc works to..
The tipping in the US may be, makes a better service,but here in the Uk,we are charged for everything that we do not know about until later and tricks we use. so HORSES FOR COURSES.

The tipping should be just that, and that only.Not asking as a right like in the USA.Chasing you out of the door if you don't give, because the service was crap.
The price i want to pay is the price i see in the menu,if i choose.
Not hussled by some one who worked out there tips already before they start there shift..

I do tip all around the world if i choose to,by the service,hospitality and manners of the people/person directly whom worked and deserve it.

Maybe i should ask for a discount before i get charged for a tip.

I think there's more of a case for legislation to require restaurants to pay their staff at least the minimum wage rather than assuming tips will take a waiter's or waitress' pay above it.

Also, if tipping was automatically applied at 15% on top of the price of the meal, people would eat out less, or go to places with counter service or self - service buffets meaning restaurants would need fewer waiters and waitresses, which could backfire on the staff working there.

I very rarely tip, why should I? Nobody tipped me for doing my job.

If, as stated in the story above, staff are being paid below the minimum wage, you have a right to complain and ask for what is prescribed by law, if you accept lower wages, that is your problem not mine, dont ask me to pump up your earnings.

When I did silver-service waiting we rarely got tips but we did get fed by the establishment at no cost so that saved some money.

I still believe that any money left as a tip rarely goes to the staff serving me anyway as I have seen staff that clear the tables pick up those tips left by other even though they did not serve that person.

If you are dissatified with you job, get a new one stop gripping about your prediciment to all and sundry, we are paying for a service i.e. food,we are not there to worry about low staff wages.

A can of 330ml Coke is £2.80 in some restaurants. You can get it in the supermarket for less than 50p - the ridiculous increase in prices for items such as these always make me question whether I should tip or not. That's why unless I have received EXCEPTIONAL service, I normally don't tip (though if the bill came to £22.50 and I had £25, I would probably just give the £25)

I tip 10% here, which works out the same as in the U.S. where I tip 20%..., only the meals are half the price there!

Well said

I actually dont care that you are angry at people who do not leave tips. This practice actually encourages restaurant owners to pay less than minimum wage. We should not be bullied into making up employers shortfall in this way. Minumum wage is backed by law and should be pursued.
I will tip indivuals personally when I receive outstanding service and I expect employers to pay their staff properly for doing their jobs properly.

It is about time we all refused to be a part of this insidious practice of unlawful wages in the catering industry and other service industries. We all work hard for our money and should not be expected to suplement the wages of other workers

Tipping should be banned.
Staff should not be paid below mimimum wage.
In a restaurant I do not expect the price charged to exclude the service, otherwise it would be the price for takeaway food.
To tip restaurant staff for giving a routine, acceptable level of service is ludicrous......we don't tip staff in a shop, hospital, local library...........the list is endless, even though they may also be lowly paid, so why on earth should the staff in a restaurant, hotel ot taxi drivers be a special case?
Tipping, of anyone, should be for exceptional service, well over and above their routine responsibilities and would be an infrequent occurence.
Many staff that currently expect tips do just that............routinely expect tips for mediocre service, with no thought for the many other wardworking people who are not in the "tipping industries" and who would not dream of expecting tips simply for doing their job.

Sorry to be harsh, but there are plenty of places that pay Minimum Wage and myself and some friends were fortunate enough to work at a few of them when we were at uni. If there is a problem with pay then surely the answer is to either not take the job in the first place, or move to somewhere else - plenty of places need staff to work for them because a lot of the time the staff are students and the turnaround of new staff is very high. Obviously, the average worker cannot be responsible for what their employment chooses to do with regards to pay, but the average worker CAN choose what action to take.

I understand what you are saying about tips but with regards to "lining the CEO's pockets" - what do you think the CEO is doing by not increasing wages to the new minimum standard? The exact same thing! So it's ludicrous to stay! The CEO banks on the fact that people think they won't be able to find new work if they leave, so they take advantage of this fact and treat their staff like mugs.

It is unfair to EXPECT the public to pay tips. This isn't America, where the staff are paid lower wages deliberately and expected to make up the rest on tips. This is a face well known over there...why else do you think the customer service is so good?
Which brings me to my next point. Surely, at the end of the day, it comes down to levels of customer service. I personally tip according to the level of service I receive. And if I happen to be at the receiving end of a waiter/waitress who blatantly comes across like they don't care, then I won't tip at all.
Everyone has bad days, if you want to put it down to that, but I don't see why I should be at the receiving end of that, or why I should be responsible for topping up wages, regardless of service levels.

At the end of the day, most people are happy to tip when they've been made to feel welcome, and they have received good service. Of course, there are some that won't tip regardless, but there's less of those types of people around. What I tend to find, however, is that staff don't really care, they just want to do their job, get their pay and go home. A good waiter is hard to come by these days - and as I eat out a fair bit, I think I've had enough experience of different ones to be able to say that.

I feel tipping is degrading to the receiver and the giver (Why are we saying no one will do there job properly unless they are bribed them) , do we tip (bribe) a doctor for saving your life , some of the people that are tipping can be earning less than the receiver of the tip , in my own town all the taxis driver are self employed, so should they tipped . I believe the waiter and others should pay a descent wage. It is deceiving the customers in thinking it cheaper than it really is. What about the tax that should paid on the tip. Its really saying that will cost extra because "You Like Me".

Thank you


P.S. all tip gratefully received

Tipping is very much still at the customer's discretion. A reward for good service. So, nobody else gets tipped unless they are doing something special to deserve it, like manual labor or an extra errand, or giving me some sort of special treatment. That's why it's annoying how this culture is held hostage by guilt when it comes to tipping. The pay should be worked out with their employers or the state not the patrons.

Thanks for the post. Tipping, believe it or not, is not just a city in China. However, most people these days pay with either a credit or debit card while purchasing basically everything, so plastic is used for tips.Interchange fees and other things may prevent them from obtaining the total amount. Source for this article: best online payday loans i can call. Indeed, one should constantly make an effort to tip waiters with cash wherever possible.

Related articles